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Complaints & Rumors

Privacy schmivacy – Google CEO’s take

It seems Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has the best take of all on the company’s skewed view of privacy – “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”  It should be noted that not too long ago there was a year long blacklisting of CNET spearheaded by Mr. Schmidt himself due to the release of his salary, neighborhood and various other personal items – all gathered from searches on Google.

This is an interesting twist considering all the hard work the search engine company has put into attempts to allay the privacy concerns of the web surfing public.  With the roll out of so many products and services over the past few months, a growing number of concerned citizens are becoming less than estatic and increasingly less likely to jump on board the Google train.  Search engine query tracking, IP address stockpiling, e-mails, voice mail, web history and pictures of homes – the list just keeps growing and growing.

To get a true picture of just how much information Google already has on you, a quick check of the Google Dashboard can give a great picture.  Granted, much of this information is willingly given.  This is just the very tip of the iceberg.  Much of what can be seen here points to even more data being saved on a daily basis each every time one fires up the ol’ web browser and starts to surf.

In an interesting twist on all the murmurs and protestations, Asa Dotzler, Mozilla’s Director of Community Development, has put out publicly that a simple solution is to switch from Google to Bing as one’s search engine of choice.  Bing’s privacy policy does a rather spectacular job of not only trouncing Google’s but also manages to keep it concise, clear and to the point.

Personally, I’m the poster child for what not to do when it comes to online privacy.  This is a choice I’ve made willingly and with much thought prior to being very open.  And that is the crux of the whole matter.  It has been a choice and with Google and its myriad of services and products, much of that choice is being taken away.

Google is already busily attempting to stomp out this fire by stating that Mr. Schmidt’s comments were taken out of context.  Viewing the video seems to point otherwise.  Privacy isn’t something to just blithely toss aside as a nuisance we all need to just deal with.  This dismissive response by one of Google’s own is merely adding insult to injury.

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Discussion

One comment for “Privacy schmivacy – Google CEO’s take”

  1. Insult to injury? Come on …
    While I have switched to Bing, I hold no misconceptions about our lack of privacy on the Internet, and I don’t see it improving any time soon.

    Quote: “A growing number of concerned citizens are becoming less than estatic and increasingly less likely to jump on board the Google train.” Really? While Bing has captured some market share, I doubt it has been because of privacy concerns. Do you have any verifiable stats to back up your derailment analysis?

    Posted by Steve-Hostirian | Monday, January 18, 2010, 1:34 pm

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